By Shruti Verma – July 17, 2014
Admit it, you have more photographs of your dog than of your best friend. A true dog lover can’t stop himself from capturing his pet in his myriad moods. Here are some basic tips to take great photographs of your four-legged friend..
Natural is Key
For both humans and dogs, the best photographs are the ones taken when there is no posing involved. The first thing to do when photographing your dog is to get him or her used to the camera. Pick a venue that your pet is comfortable with, like your local park. Match the theme of your photographs to your dog’s personality. If he’s the lazy sort catch him in the middle of a yawn or a dream sequence. Don’t force your pet to pose or do something uncomfortable for the sake of a photograph.
To get the best shot, get down to your pet’s point of view. Photographs taken at eye level get the best results. That said, experiment with angles and distances. Try a lens with a powerful zoom to take closeups of your dog. Look at features that are unique about your dog—the curled tail of a pug or the floppy ears of a spaniel make great focus points. Maintain a sharp focus on the dog’s eyes to make your snapshots shine.
Does your dog have a favorite ball? Include it in the photographs for an added playful element. Add a fun pop of color to your shots with props like flowers, confetti or balloons. Be sure that the blooms are safe and pet friendly, like roses. Don’t include props that your dog is not comfortable with. Avoid unnatural clothes, bow ties or hair clips unless your dog is used to wearing them.
Obviously, don’t pick a dark background if you are photographing a black Lab and a white background for an apso. Choose simple color backgrounds that will make your dog the center of attention. Don’t pick backdrops with too much happening or the focus will shift from your dog to everything else in the frame. Experiment with a wide angle lens. When you use an aperture between F2.8 and F5.6 the background becomes blurred, so that your dog truly stands out.
Avoid taking photos of your pet in dark settings or at night when a flash is required. Flash settings can make photographs look flat, and the bright light distracts your pet as well. The key to pet photography is to be as unobtrusive as possible and let your dog be at his natural best. Time your photography and use the natural light available outdoors as much as possible. The best light for photographs is in the early morning. After your morning walk would be a perfect time to take out the camera.
It’s can be difficult to keep up with your pet when you are attempting to capture him in action. Try taking photographs by using a fast shutter speed or use continuous mode to get the best shot while avoiding movement blurs.
Shruti Verma: Believer in the power of fevicol and chocolate, Old monk disciple, Converted cat lover, Ever ready to travel, DIY activist, Happiest when found in a bookstore